This recipe originates from the Barefoot Contessa's "Barefoot in Paris" cookbook from the wonderfully talented Ina Garten. This is a hearty soup and was wonderfully filling & delicious. Here's the recipe:
Lentil Sausage Soup
1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
3 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. *Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
This recipe makes a TON of soup. If your are serving 4 or less, I would half the recipe.
A couple of side notes: I couldn't find green lentils around these parts, so I went with the regular natural colored ones and they turned out great. *Also, when I checked the seasonings, it was good- but was missing something. I added about 5-6 good shakes of Worcestershire sauce to it and it was perfect. Also, I had never made a soup that asked you to drizzle olive oil on top. Don't skip this part- it was like icing on the cake. It tasted absolutely wonderful with it. Enjoy!